Postcards From Minicamp: New Energy in Alameda

Oakland Raiders minicamp

 A voluntary minicamp got underway today at the Oakland Raiders headquarters in Alameda. Our own Scott Winter was there to dispatch these tidbits about the first look at the 2018 team on the field with Jon Gruden.

ALAMEDA, Calif. – After a season of immense change and positive direction, the media finally got it’s first glimpse of the 2018 Oakland Raiders on the practice field today at the team’s headquarters in Alameda. Veterans reported for voluntary minicamp with the only notable veteran not to be in camp today was linebacker Khalil Mack.

For the first time in 17 years, Jon Gruden is back running the Raiders franchise on the field. As Gruden barked orders and commands at his new team, he did so in game shape himself, having visibly slimmed down from his Monday Night Football physique. It appears he too looked at this minicamp as time for him to get into game shape as well.

And – of course – his signature black visor is back. By his swagger, and stereotypical Chucky snarl, Gruden is truly seemed relaxed yet intense but comfortable.

As for the veterans who reported to the minicamp today, they wore smiles and moved swiftly and energetically seemingly overjoyed with being back at work. The fact attendance was high, despite the camp being voluntary, shows the team is looking forward to putting a disappointing 2017 behind them.

Today’s Notables

  • Gruden was jawing at, and then praising, wide receiver Amari Cooper. Cooper, who saw his contract extended through 2019 just yesterday, responded and was getting at it pretty hard during the first day of the minicamp.
  • Got a chance to witness wide receiver Jordy Nelson catching passes from quarterback Derek Carr, sporting his new number – 82.
  • Running back Marshawn Lynch was doing miniature hurdle drills and being Marshawn. He seemed loose and ready for football and this veteran’s mini camp.
  • Gruden, between motivational moments, was hard at work using as much pencil lead as possible. It seemed every time I glanced his direction, he was hastily scribbling something in the notepad he was carrying.

Check for updates to this story through the evening.